Information About Managing Licenses for Smart Licensing Using Policy
Cisco Smart Software Manager (SSM) manages Smart Licensing Using Policy (SLP) purchases, tracking availability and consumption of licenses. A Smart Account (SA) contains the licenses purchased by an organization. Virtual Accounts (VA) are subaccounts within the Smart Account that further organize the licenses, such as by department, product, geography, and so on. For more information to activate and manage Cisco licenses, see Smart Software Manager.
Cisco SD-WAN operates together with Cisco SSM to provide license management through Cisco vManage for devices operating with Cisco SD-WAN. Cisco vManage can show available DNA licenses, assign licenses to devices, monitor license usage, and report license consumption to CSSM. When you set up Cisco vManage to manage licenses, Cisco vManage operates between Cisco SSM and the devices in the network, as shown in the following illustration.
Cisco vManage supports a subset of the license entitlements by default. The license entitlement types include the following:
A la carte: These entitlements are delievered based on orders in Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW).
Enterprise agreement (EA): These entitlements are delivered by reporting on the EA workspace.
MSLA-U: These entitlements are delievered based on orders in CCW.
MSLA-C: These entitlements are delievered based on orders in CCW.
For information about Smart Licensing Using Policy, see Smart Licensing Using Policy for Cisco Enterprise Routing Platforms.
For information about Managed Service License Agreements, see MSLA on Cisco Sales Connect.
A license may include more than one entitlement. Each entitlement included with a license provides a specific functionality, such as routing features or a specific traffic throughput. The applicability of these entitlements on a particular device depends on the Cisco IOS XE software release operating on the device, and on the operation mode of the device, which can be autonomous or controller mode.
Your organization's Smart Account shows the entitlements included in each associated license.
Cisco vManage manages the following types of entitlements.
DNA entitlements (for example, DNA Routing Advantage Tier 1)
High Security (HSEC)
Other entitlements may appear in the Smart Account, but are not managed by Cisco vManage. Examples may include network stack entitlements, IP Base, App, Sec, Perf, Boost, DNA Essentials for SDWAN, and DNA Advantage for SDWAN.
DNA Essentials for SDWAN (SDWAN-DNA-E) and DNA Advantage for SDWAN (SDWAN-DNA-A) are considered obsolete entitlement types and are not managed by Cisco vManage.
License management using Cisco vManage supports Cisco IOS XE SD-WAN devices and Cisco vEdge devices.
License Server Options
Cisco vManage can receive license information and transmit reports on licensing usage in multiple ways, including the following:
Direct internet connection to Cisco SSM (online mode)
Manual management of licensing data (offline mode)
Cisco SSM on-prem server (on-prem mode, available from Cisco vManage Release 20.9.1)
For each of these modes, you can assign licenses to device in Cisco vManage in the same way.
Cisco SD-WAN infrastructure can support multiple organizations, which share the resources of Cisco SD-WAN controllers, while operating independently of one another. This arrangement is called multitenancy. It enables a service provider to support multiple customers using the same Cisco SD-WAN controllers, and enables the service provider to manage the tenants using Cisco vManage. Cisco SD-WAN isolates each tenant’s data to ensure that each tenant has access only to the resources relevant to their organization. The service provider can use Cisco vManage to view all resources, and each tenant can separately log in to Cisco vManage to view their own resources. For more information about multitenancy, see Cisco SD-WAN Multitenancy in the Cisco SD-WAN Systems and Interfaces Configuration Guide, Cisco IOS XE Release 17.x.
When using Cisco SD-WAN with multitenancy, the service provider chooses the mode of synchronizing license information with a Cisco license server: online mode, offline mode, or on-prem mode. When you choose on-prem mode, the Cisco SSM on-prem license server stores the license information for the licenses that Cisco vManage manages. This includes the licenses that each tenant has chosen to manage. When a tenant configures a Cisco Smart Account and chooses licenses to manage in Cisco vManage, Cisco vManage sends a request to the Cisco SSM on-prem license server to retrieve the relevant license information from Cisco SSM. Cisco vManage receives the license information from the Cisco SSM on-prem license server and makes the licenses available for the tenant to use.
Information About Offline Mode
Normally, Cisco vManage communicates directly with the Cisco Smart Software Manager (SSM) through the internet for the following:
Receiving information about available licenses from Cisco SSM
Reporting license assignment to Cisco SSM
Offline mode provides the ability to keep Cisco vManage license management in synchronization with the Cisco SSM server when the Cisco vManage server is not connected to the internet. This is accomplished through the following steps:
In Cisco SSM, generate a license summary file containing the details of all available license entitlements.
Upload the license summary file into Cisco vManage.
Even before uploading a license summary file into Cisco vManage, you can use Cisco vManage to assign default entitlements to devices in the network. These assignments are reconciled with the available entitlements after the license summary file is uploaded to Cisco vManage.
In Cisco vManage, periodically generate a license report to upload to Cisco SSM, indicating license assignment.
Receive an acknowledgement file from Cisco SSM after uploading the license report.
Upload the acknowledgement file into Cisco vManage.
By default, Cisco vManage requires this synchronization within an interval of 90 days. If you do not complete this synchronization within that period, an alert appears in the License Management dashboard. Some licenses might require synchronization more frequently:
Prepaid licenses: A report is required every three months.
Postpaid licenses: A report is required each month.
In a high availability scenario with more than one Cisco vManage instance, the Cisco vManage instances keep their license information synchronized. If one of the instances fails, the redundant Cisco vManage instance continues to perform license management operations using the previously synchronized license information.
Assigning Licenses to Devices Before Providing Smart Account Details to Cisco vManage
The recommended workflow for using offline mode is the following:
Enable offline mode in Cisco vManage.
See Enable Offline Mode.
Provide your Smart Account details to Cisco vManage.
See Generate a Cisco SSM License Summary File and Upload It into Cisco vManage.
In Cisco vManage, assign licenses to devices.
Periodically, generate a usage report file in Cisco vManage to upload to Cisco SSM. This report provides information about the licenses that you have assigned in Cisco vManage.
See Generate a Usage Report File in Cisco vManage and Synchronize with Cisco SSM.
In some scenarios, such as during a trial period, you can delay the step of providing Smart Account details to Cisco vManage, and begin assigning licenses to devices. When you generate the usage report file for the first time and upload it to Cisco SSM, Cisco SSM prompts you to select the relevant virtual account.
Information About License Management Using a Proxy Server
Minimum releases: Cisco IOS XE Release 17.9.1a, Cisco vManage Release 20.9.1
If you configure Cisco vManage to use a proxy server for internet access, Cisco vManage uses the proxy server to connect to Cisco SSM or an on-prem SSM.
For information about using a proxy server, see Configure HTTP/HTTPS Proxy Server in the Cisco SD-WAN Systems and Interfaces Configuration Guide, Cisco IOS XE Release 17.x.
Benefits of License Management Using a Proxy Server
For scenarios in which Cisco vManage is not connected directly to the internet, using a proxy server can provide access to internet-based services, such as Cisco SSM, or to a local on-prem SSM.
Information About Managing Licenses Using Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem
Minimum release: Cisco vManage Release 20.9.1
Cisco Smart Software Manager on-prem (SSM on-prem) is a Cisco Smart Licensing solution that enables you to administer licenses from a server on your premises, instead of having to connect directly to Cisco SSM. The solution involves setting up a Cisco SSM on-prem license server, which synchronizes its license database with Cisco SSM periodically and functions similarly to Cisco SSM, while operating locally.
Cisco vManage supports management of licenses using a Cisco SSM on-prem server, using a mode called on-prem. On-prem mode is useful for organizations that use Cisco SSM on-prem to accommodate a strict security policy that does not permit network devices to communicate with Cisco SSM by direct internet connection.
When operating in on-prem mode, Cisco vManage synchronizes license information with the Cisco SSM on-prem license server every 24 hours. During this synchronization, Cisco vManage receives any updates to available licenses and it sends license usage reports to the Cisco SSM on-prem license server. You can synchronize licenses at any time—see Synchronize Licenses.
For information about configuring the frequency of synchronization between the Cisco SSM on-prem license server and Cisco SSM, see the documentation for Cisco SSM on-prem. The Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem Data Sheet provides a link to the Cisco SSM on-prem software on the Cisco Software Download site. The product documentation is available through the Cisco Software Download site.
Benefits of Using Cisco Smart Software Manager On-Prem
Organizations whose security policies, or other circumstances, require that Cisco vManage not be connected to the internet have the following options for managing licenses for Smart License Using Policy:
Use offline mode, which requires transferring files manually between Cisco vManage and Cisco SSM.
Use a Cisco SSM on-prem server that is accessible through a local area connection to Cisco vManage.
Both of these methods address the need to transfer license information between Cisco SSM and Cisco vManage. Wherever it is possible to use the on-prem mode, this mode provides the significant benefit of reducing the maintenance overhead of transferring files manually between Cisco vManage and Cisco SSM, as is necessary for offline mode.